Read Casa Di Scapolo by Honoré de Balzac Free Online
Book Title: Casa Di Scapolo|
The author of the book: Honoré de Balzac
ISBN: No data
ISBN 13: No data
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 355 KB
Date of issue: June 2010
Read full description of the books Casa Di Scapolo:The novel begins in 1792 with a long and rather dull preamble givinge history to the Rouget family, and as it happens this is vital to understanding the last part of the tale. Agathe Rouget is the daughter of a rather nasty doctor, that seems to be putting it mildly, and Balzac laces the tale of Doctor Rouget and his unfortunate wife with innuendos. While Rouget, a petty domestic tyrant, dotes on his son and encourages Jean-Jacques’ very worst behaviour, he loathes Agathe as he suspects that she was fathered by another man. So when an opportunity arises to get rid of Agathe, the vindictive Rouget carts off his young daughter to Paris and the home of her maternal uncle, a grocer named Desgoings. Unfortunately, the grocer falls foul of the guillotine within a week of Agathe’s arrival, but then, Bridau, a minor official, falls in love with Agathe and they marry. The Bridaus have two boys Philippe and Joseph.
Through the passing years, Bridau a hard-working civil servant, seems to be working himself into a early grave serving under Napoleon. Bridau leaves his widow and two sons in modest circumstances but with a pension to keep them in simple, but genteel style. At this point in the story, the widow Desgoings makes the practical decision to move in with Agathe, her niece by marriage, so that they can pool their resources.
Despite the fact that Agathe has been effectively disinherited from her family, life should not be too unpleasant for Madame Bridau and her two sons, but human vices get in the way. Madame Desgoings turns out to have a gambling problem, and then the Bridau boys grow up….
All these family happenings are compressed into the early pages, the rest of the story is devoted to the Bridau brothers, Philippe and Joseph. Philippe grows up to become an appalling human being, and at first he seems to hit his stride as a rapidly advancing officer in Napoleon’s army. After the Battle of Waterloo, Philippe, now a colonel becomes just another of Napoleon’s bitter ex-officers, drinking in the local taverns, sporting with prostitutes, gambling money he borrows or steals from his family, and living beyond his means. In the meantime, Joseph, the less favoured but good son, becomes an artist.
Going by The Black sheep I am sure there are better Balzac novels, there are some pretty nasty individuals here that I couldn't wait to see the back of!, Balzac, uses the whole 'money is power' theme well and here we see the depths to which some people are prepared to sink in order to gain a fortune. While he is spot on target when it comes to the predictability of human nature, he shows a lack of respect for the reader in places after being distracted by endless details that kept recurring without adding anything that wasn't already there. I will read more Balzac, hopefully something where I don't spend half the time despising those within. 3.5/5
Read information about the authorHonoré de Balzac was a nineteenth-century French novelist and playwright. His magnum opus was a sequence of almost 100 novels and plays collectively entitled La Comédie humaine, which presents a panorama of French life in the years after the fall of Napoléon Bonaparte in 1815.
Due to his keen observation of detail and unfiltered representation of society, Balzac is regarded as one of the founders of realism in European literature. He is renowned for his multi-faceted characters; even his lesser characters are complex, morally ambiguous and fully human. Inanimate objects are imbued with character as well; the city of Paris, a backdrop for much of his writing, takes on many human qualities. His writing influenced many famous authors, including the novelists Marcel Proust, Émile Zola, Charles Dickens, Gustave Flaubert, Henry James and Jack Kerouac, as well as important philosophers such as Friedrich Engels. Many of Balzac's works have been made into films, and they continue to inspire other writers.
An enthusiastic reader and independent thinker as a child, Balzac had trouble adapting himself to the teaching style of his grammar school. His willful nature caused trouble throughout his life, and frustrated his ambitions to succeed in the world of business. When he finished school, Balzac was apprenticed as a legal clerk, but he turned his back on law after wearying of its inhumanity and banal routine. Before and during his career as a writer, he attempted to be a publisher, printer, businessman, critic, and politician. He failed in all of these efforts. La Comédie Humaine reflects his real-life difficulties, and includes scenes from his own experience.
Balzac suffered from health problems throughout his life, possibly due to his intense writing schedule. His relationship with his family was often strained by financial and personal drama, and he lost more than one friend over critical reviews. In 1850, he married Ewelina Hańska, his longtime paramour; he died five months later.
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